150 Things We Learned At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, From Pokemon To Grindr

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Thanks to Marilyn Weiss, Jeremy Konrad, Joshua Stone, Joe Glass, Erik Amaya, Mike Sangregorio, Kirk Staley , Anthony Desatio, Octavio Karbank, Hilton Collins, Alex Roberts, Janel Smith, Hugh Sheridan, Wil Romine, Peter Svensson and Daniel Celko… 150 things they learned at San Diego COmic-Con while reporting for Bleeding Cool.

  • The off-site events are sucking traffic from the halls and the showfloor as media companies prefer the control. The mass crushing crowds throughout the show are gone.
  • This may also be down to RFID eliminating the common problem of counterfeit passes. It seems there were even more fakes than previously suspected.
  • Cosplay was also down., big time, even outside the show. Is this the Tony Harris effect?
  • Creators now have to go off-site for media interviews, as the media companies like the control as well. Blame CBR's yacht, they started this.
  • If the convention has no free wifi, and it's a few weeks after the launch of Pokemon Go, good luck sending out anything bigger than a tweet.
  • The second floor of the Hard Rock is a great place to spot celebrities, and very poorly guarded.
  • If your wife is yelling at you from an opposite airport security line, it's probably because Benedict Cumberbatch is right behind you.  Seriously, pay attention!
  • If Marc Summers pies you, Nickelodeon will give you a change of clothes if you ask nicely.
  • The law of dismissing returns applies to number of panelists. If you have 7 people on stage, no one gets to speak in any great depth, and most end up just sitting there waiting for their one turn to talk.
  • Film at Comic-Con — unless it's Marvel or DC related — is truly dead. Sitting in a half-empty Hall H for panels featuring Justin Timberlake and Oliver Stone reveals that 20th Century Fox was right to sit out Hall H this year. Only superhero films go over well.
  • But Comic-Con is very much a TV convention with shows like Voltron, Wynonna Earp, Critical Role and others filling to 300 seat room to capacity and leaving hundreds of people shut out.
  • While the pivot from film to television has been going on for at least six years, the shift appears complete and the show needs to accommodate for that.
  • Whatever you do, don't accidentally open Grindr at any point during SDCC. Constant notifications and unsolicited dick pics are somewhat distracting.
  • People will queue for upwards of four hours for a panel featuring Gerard Way.
  • When Lucy Lawless makes a joke that Bruce Campbell's character Ash is only good for trimming her bushes, that when the female reporter next to you makes the joke that you were thinking that it is polite to thank her after the interview.
  • There are fandoms  that I had no idea existed and that there is a rock band that plays Sonic the Hedgehog the music.
  • On days of Comic-Con I cannot sleep past 6 AM, no matter how little sleep I got the night before.
  • I will never do an AirBnB in San Diego without air conditioning because the humidity sucks.
  • I learned what Joss Whedon looks like with half of his shirt's buttons undone because the humidity sucked.The new new cast of MST3K are very cool people and it was very easy to forget I was doing an interview and instead just have a conversation.
  • An easy way to make a woman smile is calling out a guy standing next to her for making a sexist comments.
  • There are way too many men making sexist comments at SDCC.
  • You can make the one male on the Women of Dynamite Comics panel very uncomfortable when you ask about the having a woman write the adaption of the James Bond novels, and also point out how the Ian Fleming books are sexist, homophobic, and way too rapey.
  • I was very uncomfortable with Marvel's Netflix Defenders teaser trailer using Nirvana's Come As You Are.
  • Jared Leto Joker is the new most popular cosplay, despite the fact the film still hasn't come out yet.
  • Surprising given how much hate that interpretation got when the first images were leaked.
  • Adrian Perez is still the most enthusiastic comics fan in the world, and is destined for DC work.
  • Everyone wants a Flex Mentallo beach towel.
  • There are more and more LGBTQ panels than ever and they are crazy popular.
  • Eugene Byrd (Andy Diggle in Arrow) has not had the chance to meet the real Andy Diggle but would LOVE to.
  • Dressing as a Pokestop is a genuinely acceptable cosplay choice now.
  • Everyone wants a pikachu.
  • The elevator for the bridge smells like a hotel room from The Alley of Death.
  • Hotel keys at the Omni will never work for more than a day.
  • The hotel pool at the Grand Hyatt closes at 11:00, not 2:30 in the morning.
  • Jeremy Konrad is a hotel booking wizard and should be praised by all.
  • Too much sunscreen is never enough.
  • If you want better seats in Hall H, just ask.
  • Chris Hardwick disappointed by being Team Mystic. (Valor rules!)
  • San Diego has a sandshrew infestation.
  • I have no idea what Neil Degrasse Tyson's Space Odyssey is but I'm excited!
  • Zootopia was originally supposed to be one hell of a dark movie.
  • Break in your good shoes ahead of time. Blisters make for a poor con experience.
  • Getting sick at con happens.
  • Just because something is free, doesn't mean you will have room to take it home with you.
  • Sometimes you can show up to vendors at the very end of the day, and buy exclusive toys without waiting in lines for hours.
  • Knowing just how popular the panel before the one you wish to attend is crucial.
  • And after.
  • The food court at the Horton Plaza mall is a fantastic way to not pay through the nose.
  • But Ralph's is even better.
  • Every trolley stop has a Pokemon Go Lure on it.
  • Keep a bag and board handy in case the panel you are in decides to give out an exclusive variant.
  • You can sleep when you're home.
  • Echo Kellum is deceptively tall.
  • During Comic Con weekend, there's never not a Pokestop that someone hasn't activated with a lure.
  • Never pass up a clean toilet or unprotected wifi.
  • Comicon is pretty bigBleeding Cool is much more popular in the industry than anyone in it will admit
  • Bleeding Cool is much more popular in the industry than anyone in it will admit
  • Janel Smith is tough as nails
  • Comicon is really quite massive
  • Writing articles for Bleeding Cool is tougher than it looks
  • The March creators Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell are really sound
  • Tough guy writer Jason Aaron is not too proud to cry at the Eisners
  • I'm crap at writing lists
  • @&*#ing hell man, Comicon is big
  • Sleep is for the weak.
  • Don't expect to have Internet access in the Indigo Ballroom despite the fact that you pay for unlimited data.
  • Just because the trailer is 90% Aquaman don't get your hopes up too high. Remember you were excited about the B v. S trailer too… (Too soon?)
  • Conventions without cosplaying are way tamer than when you do.
  • There should be lessons given before every convention about walking with a purpose.
  • Don't take your wristbands off. Shower with them. They can take you far.
  • Don't be seduced by car services the trolley is your friend.
  • If you're going to add a person as your Facebook friend do it sooner rather than later because you will both forget.
  • Lines are the best places to catch Pokémon.
  • Poor signage should be abolished.
  • It's not always Comic Con itself that matters, but the company you spend your time with while at the con.
  • People will refuse to move at the exact moment you're in a hurry to get somewhere.
  • Convention food does absolute murder on the stomach.
  • Triple-booking yourself leads to lots of running around, swearing, and apologizing…and not necessarily in that order.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Bring extra batteries and a charger
  • Your phone isn't the best camera.
  • It helps to have more than one recording device.
  • Celebrities are more willing to take a selfie with you than you think, especially if you're nice about it.
  • Always walk the floor. You never know who you're going to meet or run into.
  • Dress very differently for the press sessions. Don't show up in your regular clothes if your press sessions is all in one day. Dress in hawaiian shirt and long pants and you'll get compliments from actors and some eyeing from unnamed actresses.
  • Bring Trader Joes Scandinavian Swimmers Snack to Press Sessions. Jesse L. Martin was a big fan of the snack, and kept eating some more. Mehcad Brooks took a snack from my food and tossed it up high in the air and got it in his mouth.
  • Try to vary your hotel restaurants, as I saw Scott Manz at Starbucks the next morning after the Star Trek Premiere. I saw Chris Hardwick and Liam Mcintrye at the Hilton Lounge Restaurants.
  • If you have a quick question, it can't hurt to ask them when they are at lunch. Take a discreet photo of a show cast eating their lunch.
  • If you are a big fan of a show (Luke Cage), it can't hurt to be there at the end of press sessions.
  • Even cast members aren't immune from other press sessions running overtime, as they were waiting outside in the hallways.
  • Build up your contacts and always accept every party invites!
  • Overheard in the men's room: "Is this the line for the urinals?" Pretty much sums up the experience.
  • Staff and security were out in FULL force throughout the event, and I often found myself walking, standing, sitting, entering/exiting, or breathing where I shouldn't.
  • FedEx in the lobby is both the most convenient thing and biggest ripoff of the convention.
  • Jimmy Palmiotti is the creator I'd most want to grab a beer with.
  • Starbucks carts throughout the convention with no iced coffee–what's the point? Food line moved quickly, though.
  • Panel names are often the real-world equivalent of click bait. Don't call a panel "Secrets of X" if you're just going to tell people what they already know.
  • Lines/lotteries to get in line for other lines–where does it end?
  • The Press Room is an oasis of chairs, wifi, and–if you make it there early enough in the day–iced tea, coffee, pretzels, hot dogs, and more.
  • You can and will be told "do not walk on the escalator."
  • No, I can't sit there. Nope, can't stand there either.
  • Some people like Rick & Morty far more than I do. Genuinely surprised.
  • You never get used to 2:00 last call.
  • Fewer people know what the inscription on the One Ring is than I would have guessed.
  • Only two men seem to get a standing ovation at Con, Stan Lee and Kevin Conroy.
  • Fighting a guy named "Paris France" makes you susceptible to acting far out of character.
  • Joker is Hades and it is his realm that Batman ventures through each night (but Leto's tattoos still look ridiculous).
  • People will stare at you like an animal at the zoo, even at Comic Con, if you drink and discuss Bendis a little too animatedly.
  • Uber and WhatsApp are for people my age too. Good to know.
  • Fritos make an acceptable substitute as nachos
  • The only thing better than breakfast food is combining two breakfast foods
  • Nothing can bring people together quite like Pokemon Go
  • Treasure your time at the pool because you won't get as much time as you think
  • Using the drawers at the hotel to store your clothes really saves time when packing
  • Bring along some emergen-c
  • Giving yourself a buffer day before and after the con is a great idea
  • Get a hotel with a mini fridge. If the air conditioning breaks down you can fit your whole head in it.
  • Make sure your date packs appropriate clothing for parties
  • If you wander around the Hasbro booth long enough you will get in.
  • Hall H is basically down to just being important on Saturday. It was much harder to get into Ballroom 20.
  • Scott Snyder is the nicest guy in comics.
  • The first couple days, security is a nightmare and are bullies. After that they are quite pleasant.
  • Hamilton/Star Wars crossover cosplay is amazing.
  • The first day you get there you will see complete strangers who by the end of the weekend will be close friends.
  • Pack a suit. Parties have dress codes.
  • Gaslamp Pizza on 6th St. You are welcome.
  • Always bring your ID to the bar no matter what.
  • Never be afraid to state you opinion, even if you are standing up to a bully. Just because they react poorly does not mean you have to. Stand your ground and hold people accountable.
  • Jeri Ryan ages very well. (She looks FABULOUS)
  • The security in the exhibit hall is merciless about clearing people out at 5 pm on Sunday. (They like, instantly start kicking people out at 5 on the dot)
  • The press cage inHall H really needs some outlets so you can charge your tech
  • Video game developers are very talkative at parties when drunk
  • People don't like it when you ask to take photos of their badges, even though you're only asking so you can make sure you get the correct spelling of their names in case you quote them in articles
  • 24 hour shuttle service is a life saver
  • No day is complete without a root beer float from Ghirardelli's on Sixth Avenue
  • The dread over the RFID badges was much ado about nothing.
  • The better your friend's cosplay, the more you'll be carrying their items.
  • Winning the hotel lottery feels like winning the real lottery.
  • Ubers are the true key to getting around- goodbye to the dread of taxi rates slowly ticking upward while that enormous Transformers cosplay waddles across the street.
  • Camera and phone battery levels never drain so fast as when you're in Hall H.
  • Watching hordes of people descend on Hall H for the Pokemon Go panel and leaving empty-handed gives you a mildly sadistic sense of joy.
  • Protein bowls from the Sweet Things restaurant across from the convention center are the *greatest* hangover cure I've ever discovered.
  • If you fly to Los Angeles, on the way out of the show there will be famous people on the flight. Some of them will have been in Lost.
  • Stay an extra day. AirBNBs empty on Sunday nights.
  • The Monday morning post-Con breakfast feels like a group of old war buddies recounting their triumphs and tribulations.
  • TSA consider Hall H Harry Potter wands need to be checked as  weapons "Only in the wrong magicians hands" was not the correct response to give the TSA.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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